According to the Alzheimer’s Association, about 50 million people are living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Alzheimer’s is a degenerative brain disease, and while it is considered the most common form of dementia, the causes are not fully understood. Here are six main early signs of Alzheimer’s disease to be aware of.
1. Short-term memory loss
This is the most common early symptom of dementia and specifically Alzheimer’s. And while occasional memory slips are common, consistently experiencing any of these events can be a concern:
● Ask questions or making statements repetitively
● Experiencing paranoia or acting suspiciously when confronted with being forgetful
● Misplacing common objects more often (i.e. keys, glasses, etc.)
● Having trouble remembering new information
● Forgetting important dates
● Having trouble learning new things
If an aging individual is experiencing bouts of insomnia or seeming more tired than usual, it could be an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease can cause problems with sleep patterns; however, it is not a tell-all sign of Alzheimer’s disease.
3. Changes in personality or judgement
Alzheimer’s, and many other dementias, can cause an individual’s personality and mood to change. If your aging parent seems more irritable or anxious than is typical for them, it could be a sign that something is wrong. In addition, if you notice changes in their appearance it could also be a sign that their brain may be changing.
4. Avoiding social situations
Following and engaging in conversations can be difficult for someone with Alzheimer’s disease. As a result, they may avoid social activities or seem socially disengaged. They may avoid common hobbies or interacting with friends and family. This symptom can begin early and typically continues to worsen.
5. Wandering or getting lost
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 6 in 10 people with dementia wander. This can mean getting distracted in familiar places like a supermarket or even in areas close to their homes.
If you or a loved one are experiencing any of these symptoms, please discuss them with a medical professional.